As Google Partners, our marketing team likes to stay up-to-date with all things Google, including their annual report which was released on Thursday.

As a trusted source of information for billions across the world, Google is committed to providing a safe and trusted experience for its users. This includes the management of false advertising, particularly during uncertain times such as the Coronavirus pandemic.

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Whilst Google’s annual report covers a variety of topics, here is what you need to know in a nutshell:

Ad Removal

Now more than ever, Google is focused on protecting its users and taking action. As such, in 2019 Google claims to have removed over 2.7 billion “bad ads” for violating their advertising policies. This is an increase of over 400 million from the previous year.

2.7 billion ads removed

Publisher Network

Alongside removing “bad ads”, Google terminated over more than 1.2 million publisher accounts. They also removed ads from over 21 million web pages across its publisher network due to policy violations.

5,000 ads taken down per minute

Focus Areas

As standard in their annual reports, Google highlights focus areas. In 2019, they focused on improving enforcement of Google’s policies, particularly those against phishing and "trick-to-click" ads.

Last year, Google experienced an increase in phishing attempts targeting individuals renewing their passports, ads that are created to look like device system warnings and personal loan ads with misleading information on terms of lending agreements.

Google has since updated its ad policy to require loan-related advertisers to state all fees, risks and benefits on their website or app, as well as protecting user safety with ad moderation and removal.

bad ads focus areas

The Impact of Coronavirus

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, Google has seen a spike in malicious advertising activity. As a result, they now have a dedicated COVID-19 team that has developed new technology to detect false advertising and has increased existing enforcement systems to manage the surge.

In March 2020, Google even globally banned ads for face masks due to an influx of misleading ads. They have also worked with advertisers to share accurate and relevant information about COVID-19 with users, to keep them safe and informed. For example, they have enabled PSAs (unpaid non-profit organisation ads) from governments, non-government organisations and health organisations.

To read Google’s “bad ads” annual report in full, please click here.